Chanel Foundation: Grants for Global Development

OVERVIEW: The Chanel Foundation centers its global development grantmaking on improving the lives of girls and women in least-developed countries around the world.

IP TAKE: Chanel is an approachable corporate funder that often provides multi-year support to its grantees.

PROFILE: The Chanel Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the haute couture fashion house, Chanel. Since 2011, the foundation has sought to channel the rebellious and resilient spirit of its namesake, Coco Chanel, in order to "[a]dvance women’s and girls independence and empowerment around the world by increasing access to economic resources and entrepreneurship, education and training, leadership and decision-making as well as health, sports and culture." In addition to supporting female empowerment through economic, educational, and training projects, Chanel also prioritizes giving to cultural events and female artists. It also supports emergency projects that affect vulnerable populations, particularly women and children, on a case-by-case basis. Chanel prioritizes giving in five key areas: access to economic resources, education and training,  leadership and decision-making, health and social protection,  culture and sports

Although the foundation's website does not feature a grantee list, its Active Partnerships list indicates that it funds both large and small organizations. For instance, in the past, it has funded UN Women through its Fund for Gender Equality, and WAHA International to support its work providing primary medical care to Syrian refugees arriving on the Greek islands of Lesbos, Samos, Chios and Kos.

With offices in both Paris and New York, the Chanel foundation conducts business in both French and English. As a result, it's website has a built-in translator at the top of the first landing page. It accepts unsolicited letters of inquiry and proposals during its open call for proposals period. Grantseekers should check Chanel's excellent site often as it announces occasional open call dates. 


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